WATCH THE Un/spoken CURATED VIDEO PANEL DISCUSSION




 
 
PLEASE NOTE:  The online streaming for this curated video has now expired. 

Un/spoken


Program length: 59:46 min
The following running times are for the above pre-sequeced video of short works :


00:00:10 : Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary by Sky Hopinka. 13:05 min. Distributor: Video Data Bank.
00:13:34 : filiPINES by Marissa Sean Cruz. 02:00 min. Courtesy of the artist.
00:15:43 : Small Pleasures by Karin Lee. 06:00 min. Distributor: Moving Images Distribution.
00:21:25 : ILWEN: La tierra tiene olor a padre (the earth smells like father) by Francisco Huichaqueo. 34:35 min. Distributor: Vtape.
00:55:01 : HIDE by Sébastien Aubin. 02:46 min. Distributor: Vtape
00:58:47 : TAFA (((O))) ATA by Léuli Eshrāghi. 01:20 min. Courtesy of the artist.

HIDE by Sebastien Aubin. 02:46 min. Distributor: Vtape

Image CreditHIDE by Sebastien Aubin. 02:46 min. Distributor: Vtape

Un/spoken:

Video Screening Program Discussion

Featuring curators: Marie-Anne Redhead + Mariana Muñoz Gomez & artists Marissa Sean Cruz + Léuli Eshrāghi

 

Un/spoken: Video Screening Discussion with filmmakers

Mariana Muñoz Gomez, Marie-Anne Redhead, Marissa Sean Cruz, Léuli Eshrāghi.

To watch a video recording of this panel, click the video link at the top of this page or click this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUqS3xg1J1A&list=PL_2Kjr9FLZXOyQmEhhAUrR3E3BHWXbt1c&index=1


Curated by Mariana Muñoz Gomez and Marie-Anne Redhead, Un/spoken is a video program presented by Gallery 1C03, Plug In ICA and Video Pool Media Arts Centre as part of the exhibition, Sovereign Intimacies.

Un/spoken weaves together work by Indigenous artists and racialized artists in diaspora from all over the world. Each short film or video work takes up the theme of relationships; relationships to each other, to culture and language, to place, to the land, to nonhuman beings, to ourselves. Sometimes these relationships are fraught with fragmentation, dislocation and disappearances due to processes of colonialism, imperialism and ecological devastation. These films encourage us to explore the ways we relate to each other, to our worlds, to our histories and ways of being.

THIS DISCUSSION IS PRESENTED TO YOU BY:

 

Un/spoken understandings: building sovereign intimacies through relation

Marie-Anne, our friendship has flowed easily since we met last year in university. We’ve shared conversations about our personal lives and relationships, as well as our shared interests in diaspora, Indigeneity, language, land, place, and displacement. It seems fitting to reflect on how we’ve grown as creative collaborators within the context of Sovereign Intimacies, since curators Jennifer Smith and Nasrin Himada focus on relation as a main theme. In Un/spoken, relation carries on as well in the works by Sébastien Aubin, Marissa Sean Cruz, Léuli Eshrāghi, Sky Hopinka, Francisco Huichaqueo, and Karin Lee.

 

Thinking through the works we’ve chosen, I remembered Jen and Nasrin mentioned some texts that were on their minds as they curated Sovereign Intimacies, one of which was As We Have Always Done by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Throughout her book, Simpson draws on personal experiences to teach the reader about constellated networks of relation and about various forms and articulations theory can take. These experiences often include an affective response as a guiding force to questioning oppressive systems and structures. The films and video works in Un/spoken embrace affect and show us how theories of relation are inseparable from practice.

 

In Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary, Sky Hopinka explores place, history, and relationship by wandering through language, architectural sites, and land. An audio recording between Henry Zenk and Wilson Bobb, one of the last speakers of Chinuk Wawa at the time, plays throughout the film. Their conversations are relaxed and become a space of reciprocal intimacy and learning. In Anti-Objects, language and material localities work to illustrate a quote from architect Kengo Kuma: “The individual is not an autonomous, solitary object but a thing of uncertain extent, with ambiguous boundaries. So too is matter, which loses much of its allure the moment it is reduced to an object [...] Both subject and matter resist their reduction into objects. Everything is interconnected and intertwined.” 1 The film Anti-Objects references’ Kuma’s book of the same name and asserts language, land, and culture as living, active, and intertwined.

 

Text from Kuma’s Anti-Object appears a few times in Hopinka’s film, once as: “We will be connected to the environment called wilderness only if we are allowed to wander.” 2 In their video filiPINES, Marissa Sean Cruz creates a digital diasporic environment through which to wander. Cruz processes their “relationship to [their] father as an immigrant Filipino, transgenerational trauma and the Canadian landscape.” 3 In filiPINES, she names a tension arising out of trauma and survival in her family history, now entwined with living on stolen lands in so-called Canada. I’m reminded of Simpson reflecting on text by Mishuana Goeman, writing that Goeman “challenges us to construct deeper understandings of ourselves by examining our own relationships to place and to each other outside of the spatial constructs of settler colonialism.” 4 In the process of creating this non-place, Cruz does not seek to make a home; rather they question their relationship to survival, migration, and land.


Kengo Kuma, Anti-Object: The Dissolution and Disintegration of Architecture, qtd. Sky Hopinka, “Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary,” accessed October 26, 2020, http://www.skyhopinka.com/antiobjects-or-space-without-path-or-boundary.

2 Ibid.
3 Marissa Sean Cruz, “filiPINES - a preview,” Vimeo, accessed October 26, 2020, https://vimeo.com/376012460 .
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, As We Have Always Done (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 196.

...experiences often include an affective response as a guiding force to questioning oppressive systems and structures.

Francisco Huichaqueo also considers colonial constructs in ILWEN - La tierra tiene olor a padre (The earth smells of father). Affect as that which “is found in those intensities that pass body to body” 5 leads his investigations into relation both impacted by and thriving outside of colonial structures. Huichaqueo’s ILWEN is a story about love and loss, traced through patrilineal lines, language, and acts of working with the land. The land is a participant in building sovereign intimacies as it becomes a place of “self-affirmation of Mapu Che (people of the earth) roots and beliefs.” 6
 


 

Mariana, I learn more through my discussions with you than I do by sitting in class at the university. We first spoke to each other in a classroom but university classrooms can’t possibly contain the amount of brilliance, love, support, solidarity and friendship that can grow inside them. I am grateful that we met there and that we’ve continued to have these dialogues over coffee, over dinner, in our homes, walking around the city, and here.

 

You and I have tried together to examine the forces, trajectories and movements that have led to our being guests here on Treaty 1 land. This is a task that must take into account our respective relationships to Empire. As Jodi Byrd writes in Transit of Empire:

“I want [...] to understand that the historical processes that have created our contemporary moment have affected everyone at various points along their transits with and against empire. If colonialism has forced the native to “cathect the space of the Other on his home ground” as Spivak tells us, then imperialism has forced settlers and arrivants to cathect the space of the native as their home.” 7

 

As much as we can and should focus on the differences between your experiences and mine, we can also discuss the ways that they are infinitely similar–and that work is so important as well. We both look to language as a  locus for imagining our way out of the dislocations of the contemporary moment.
 

Karin Lee provides a unique opportunity to imagine a shared language that isn’t English in her short film Small Pleasures. Three women (First Nations, Chinese and European) speak Chinook (Chinook Wawa or Chinook Jargon), a language of the same family that Hopinka explores and revives in his work, to discuss their perspectives on feminist resistance in the 19th century. The dialogue is interesting in that it focuses on a struggle the three women share, though they each experience it differently.
 


 Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, “An Inventory of Shimmers,” in The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Gregg and Seigworth (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 1.

6 Fransisco Huichaqueo, “ILWEN - La tierra tiene olor a padre (The earth smells of father),” V Tape, accessed October 26, 2020, https://www.vtape.org/video?vi=7961.

7 Jodi A. Byrd, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), 39.

We both look to language as a  locus for imagining our way out of the dislocations of the contemporary moment.

All of the Indigenous artists in our program use creative praxis to perform what Jarrett Martineau calls “creative negation” or “affirmative refusal”8 to having their relationships to their lands, communities, practices and languages circumscribed by their subjection to Empire/settler colonialism. The modes of Indigeneity represented here instead embody what Gerald Vizenor calls Native transmotion, which holds Native stories of survivance: “Those creases [of transmotion and Native sovereignty] [...], are apprehended in the complementarities of stories, associations, intimacies, and reincarnations that resist absence and possession.”9 Léuli Eshrāghi and Sébastien Aubin’s works demonstrate this as they both overlay the (re)animation of material culture with sound. In TAFA ( ( ( O ) ) ) ATA, Eshrāghi’s animation of Sāmoan barkcloths (siapo viliata) is accompanied by a poem on “the colonial ruptures between cyclical and linear temporality.”10 Similarly, in HIDE, Aubin animates hand-scraped caribou hide through a dance performance, but this performance is accompanied by a piano composition that evokes the winter sky instead of a speaking voice. 

 

Eshrāghi’s and Aubin’s works reflect those methods of relation, spoken and unspoken, that we see in the rest of these films and videos. These works also prompt us to consider how we relate to each other and remind us that in our distinct life experiences, there is value both in the understandings left unsaid and in the conversations we have with each other.


Mariana Muñoz Gomez and Marie-Anne Redhead
 


8 Jarrett Martineau, Creative Combat: Indigenous Art, Resurgence, and Decolonization, Doctor of Philosophy dissertation (Victoria: University of Victoria, 2015), iii.
9 Byrd, 16.
10 Léuli Eshrāghi, “TAFA (((O))) ATA (2020),” Léuli Eshrāghi, accessed October 26, 2020, http://leulieshraghi.art.



 
...These works also prompt us to consider how we relate to each other and remind us that in our distinct life experiences, there is value both in the understandings left unsaid and in the conversations we have with each other.

CURATOR BIOGRAPHIES

Mariana Muñoz Gomez is an emerging artist, writer, and curator. She is a settler of colour based on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work is concerned with language, representation, diaspora, displacement and identity within post- and settler colonial contexts. She is a coeditor of Carnation Zine and co-curator at window winnipeg. Mariana recently completed a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices at the University of Winnipeg.

Marie-Anne Redhead is Ininiw and francophone, as well as an emerging curator, writer and member of Fox Lake Cree Nation. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree at the University of Winnipeg with the intent to pursue an MA in the curatorial stream of the Cultural Studies program. Through her research and creative practice, she is interested in decolonial art forms, contemporary Indigenous art, futurisms, language, and relationship-based identities.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 


SÉBASTIEN AUBIN
With a Bachelors of Fine Arts (major in Graphic Design) from the University of Québec, Sébastien Aubin has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has since shaped his professional career as a freelance graphic artist. Aubin has done publications for numerous artists, organizations and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture. Currently based in Montréal, QC, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. 
ABOUT THE ARTIST: https://saubin.ca/About-Us


MARISSA SEAN CRUZ
Marissa Sean Cruz is an interdisciplinary artist based in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) with a focus in video and digital arts. As a biracial Filipinx, Cruz’s work negotiates a layered socioracial identity in sculptural confrontations, conceptual systems and prop-comedy performances. Bringing together a collective of entities through evocative costuming, Cruz brings to actualization an animatronic pink puppy, a latex-laden alien and a pizza obsessed e-girl to compose an alternate landscape to the apocalyptic happenings RN.
Marissa Sean Cruz (b. 1996) is a video and performance artist whose work has been displayed in venues like Xpace, Studio 303, Studio Rialto, Galerie VAV Gallery, ThirdSpace and START gallery. Her various projects have been displayed throughout the United States and distributed digitally through spaces like the Centre for Art and Thought, North Fork Arts Projects, Public Parking and the Roundtable Residency.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:  https://marissaseancruz.com/About​


DR LÉULI ESHRĀGHI
Dr Léuli Eshrāghi (Sāmoan, Persian, Cantonese) works across visual arts, curatorial practice and university research. Ia intervenes in display territories to centre Indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, ia engages with Indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatama from kinship and knowledge structures.
Ia contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, teaching and rights advocacy. Eshrāghi is a board secretary of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective, the inaugural Horizon/Indigenous Futures postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University, a member of The Space Between Us SSHRC research partnership (2020-28) led by Dr Julie Nagam, an affiliate member of the Wominjeka Djeembana research lab at Monash University led by Dr Brian Martin, and a member of the Asia Pacific Artistic Research Network led by Dr Danny Butt at University of Melbourne and Kurniawan Adi Saputro at Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: http://leulieshraghi.art/bio


SKY HOPINKA
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non fiction forms of media. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and currently teaches at Bard College in Film and Electronic Arts.
His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was a part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was awarded jury prizes at the Onion City Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Emerging artist category for 2018. He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018- 2019, a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019, a recipient of an Alpert Award for Film/Video, and is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: http://www.skyhopinka.com/wecould


FRANCISCO HUICHAQUEO
Francisco Huichaqueo (Mapuche) studied documentary filmmaking at the Escuela de Cine de Chile. In addition to being a filmmaker, Francisco is a curator of video art, animation and experimental films and currently teaches animation and experimental video at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: https://www.vtape.org/artist?ai=1534


KARIN LEE 李嘉慈
Karin Lee 李嘉慈 is a media artist whose films, installations and writing spans over two decades, with fiction and non-fiction films reflecting the contemporary issues of our day as well as the themes of the Asian diaspora, women, gender, identity and sexuality. Her solo show at the Sum Gallery in Vancouver’s Art in Pride Society, was the inaugural exhibition in Vancouver. As a filmmaker, Karin co-produced Cedar and Bamboo, a documentary about children of Chinese and First Nations parents, wrote, directed and produced the web series Plan B, a dark comedic drama about an abortion clinic, and is currently in post-production for Girl with Big Feet (Ts'ekoo Cha Ke), a period drama. A fourth generation Canadian, Karin was born, raised and is based in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: karinlee.ca 

Un/spoken was organized by:

The Un/spoken program is funded by:

  

The Un/spoken program is supported by:

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Bibliography

Byrd, Jodi A. The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011. 
 
Cruz, Marissa Sean. “filiPINES - a preview.” Vimeo. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://vimeo.com/376012460.
 
Eshrāghi, Léuli. “TAFA (((O))) ATA (2020).” Léuli Eshrāghi. Accessed October 26, 2020. www.leulieshraghi.art
 
Gregg, Melissa, Gregory J. Seigworth and EBSCO. “An Inventory of Shimmers.” In The Affect Theory Reader, edited by Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, 1-28. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/dul1.ark:/13960/t2n65zw4c.

Hopinka, Sky. “Interviews: Sky Hopinka.” Artforum. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://www.artforum.com/interviews/sky-hopinka-81960

Hopinka, Sky. “Anti-Objects: Or, Space Without Path or Boundary.” Design Portland. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://designportland.org/stories/2017/anti-objects.

Huichaqueo, Francisco. “ILWEN - La tierra tiene olor a padre (The earth smells of father.” V Tape. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://www.vtape.org/video?vi=7961.

Kuma, Kengo. Anti-Object: The Dissolution and Disintegration of Architecture. Quoted in Sky Hopinka, “Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary.” Sky Hopinka. Accessed October 26, 2020. http://www.skyhopinka.com/antiobjects-or-space-without-path-or-boundary.

Martineau, Jarrett. Creative Combat: Indigenous Art, Resurgence, and Decolonization. Doctor of Philosophy dissertation. Victoria: University of Victoria, 2015.

Tuck, Eve and K. Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is not a metaphor.” In Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. Vol. 1, no.1 (2012): 1-40.

Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
VUCAVU EXPANDED
This curated program is part of the VUCAVU Expanded project.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.​